Happy New year to all of Ragnar’s blog followers. I hope you both have a great year 😊
I have continued to be a bit lax with my write ups of what has been going on with Ragnar; I have, however, been managing to do some more training with him.
He continues to be a bit iffy about coming out of the front door at times. Although some days he just pops out as normal. I am just jollying him along at the moment and then he seems to be OK with it.
I managed to crack going out to toilet in the back garden again, I just randomly open the door and throw food out for them to find in the gravel so he is now going out happily and toileting again.
I took Ragnar up for a lesson with Helen Phillips to give him some exposure to pheasant to see how he would react. Like a pro is the answer. He was amazing, once he got into his stride with the hunting, he was lovely and flat and nose down. He managed to wait quietly when we had breaks and was nice and calm and focused in his work. He had about 4 or 5 contact flushes, all of which he turned away from and headed back to me. The last couple we tried a Stop whistle with some success when he got close to me. I am not too worried about the Stop not working very well as I have only just got the training to a point where I am practising out on a walk so it is not very robust at the moment. Really please with this session and can’t wait for next season when we can really get down to some serious training 😊
I have been doing a lot of work on Ragnar’s hand delivery this month, trying to get some consistency. We have achieved this with food as the reinforcer and about 70% of the time with a ball as a reward. Ragnar still gets over excited and can’t think if he sees me put a ball in my pocket. He is learning to manage the excitement as he doesn’t get the ball until he has done a good job with his retrieve.
His steadiness is great, he will sit by my side until told to go even when the retrieve article is thrown. I have been working on this with his toys out on walks so this is easier for him to be steady with a retrieve article which is not so exciting.
I have also been working on his stop whistle which is coming on really well. I have been trying to add this after he has flushed a bird, generally pigeons, crows and small birds as I don’t have regular access to pheasant. This is progressing nicely sometimes he is even offering a stop when I am not paying attention!
Ragnar had a bit of a setback this month as he cut his stopper pad quite badly and so was on restricted exercise for a while and then regular dressing changes and manuka honey to help with the healing.
He is pretty much all healed up now so he is good to get back to training 😊
Photo by Farlap Photography